KVK have number of demonstrations units that help farmers to understand and identify viable technologies and enterprises of their interest and resources.
Nursery and Demonstration Units
KVK has model farm which is developed on an integrated farming system approach with a number of demonstration units established over a period of time. The units besides, supporting the farmers with its activities and inputs also contributes to revolving fund of KVK.
Following are the various demonstration units functioning at KVK farm:
Calf Rearing Unit
KVK demonstrate rearing of bull calf for meat purpose at very low cost making use of locally available feed materials.
Number of fodder grass varieties such as CO-3, killikulam and recently introduced CO-4 from TNAU is been demonstrated in KVK farm. The varieties such as CO-3 and CO-4 are being disseminated to farmers by making slips. The planting material are made available to farmers either directly or through milk societies.
KVK maintains Jamunapari and Malabari cross bred goats at KVK farm. KVK is in the process of upgradation of indigenous breeds of goats and cross breeding goats with better performing breeds. The kids are supplied to the farmers after they are made to undergo training on scientific goat rearing and management at KVK.
Mechanized Compost Production Unit
KVK produce larger quantities of vermicompost, coir pith compost and compost by Berkley method making use of organic waste mainly banana pseudo stem and coconut leaves. The vermicompost demonstration units at KVK are a major source of supply of earth worm for various departmental schemes and also to the farmers in the district. The earth worms available at KVK are Eudrilus eugenia and Eisenia foetida. KVK also gives training and free advisory service to the farmers on the production of compost by various methods .Further to counter act labor shortage KVK mechanized the chopping of organic waste and sieving of processed compost. KVK refined the watermelon cultivation for the district where in addition of vermicompost was recommended to avoid the crack of fruit due to inorganic fertilizer application.
Vegetable Seed Production and Planting Material Production
In the absence of state agricultural farm in the district, KVK cater the demand for seeds and planting materials of the farmers. KVK produces various seeds of vegetables and planting materials at KVK. During 2008-2009 under NHM project, progeny orchard of mango varieties, jack fruit, sapota lemon, guava, nutmeg and also progeny orchard for exotic fruits such as philosan, rambootan, and magosteen are established where in KVK farm became fully equipped to cater the demand of seeds and planting materials of the district. Besides this KVK also produce seedlings of vegetables in portrays and are made available to farmers. KVK introduced tropical cabbage and tropical cauliflower in 2009-2010 and 2010-11 respectively, in the district, where the farmers and VFPCK is supported with seedlings of cabbage and cauliflower.
Hatchery and Egger Nursery
In the absence of Govt. poultry farm, hatcheries and egger nurseries in the district there is a huge demand for layer chicks. KVK has conducted OFT to assess the potential of various varieties of poultry under back yard rearing system since the year 2005-2006. The OFT resulted in the introduction of Gramasree, Grama priya and Caveri varieties in the district. The demand for chicks of these varieties exceeds actual production at KVK. KVK now produces a hatch of about 750 chicks every month (for which KVK also maintains parent stock of these varieties).Additionally KVK also procures day old day chicks from central hatchery at Chengannur. KVK rear these chicks up to 60 days of age by administering recommended vaccinations and dewormers and other supplements and distributes them to the farmers @ Rs. 75/ bird .
Ornamental and Other Poultry Units
KVK maintains collection of ornamental birds such as silkie, Bantams, Sultans, Polish caps, Silver lace, to demonstrate its potential. There are a number of farmers who rear ornamental birds as a source of income. This is an upcoming field of poultry rearing in Pathanamthitta, hence KVK train and supports the interested farmers to take up this enterprise as income generation activity. Apart from this KVK also maintains Turkeys, goose, quail, Muscovy and Vigova ducks for demonstration purpose and the rearing stock of these are also distributed to the farmers.
Ornamental Herbal Garden and Medicinal Plant Exposure Unit
KVK maintain herbal garden and specimen plants of over 200 species of medicinal plants with the name and other details such as use, scientific name displayed. The school students and trainees of ayurveda centers in and around the district often visit the units to familiarize themselves.
Zero Energy Cool Chamber
This model developed by IARI is demonstrated in KVK farm, which holds a potential to use to store the vegetable and fruits for quite some times in a specified temperature range for particular crop. This is widely popularized to store vegetables in electricity inaccessible areas for longer duration.
Heliconia and Torch Ginger Multiplication Unit
KVK has the collection of about 14 number of heliconia varieties. They are Macas Punk, She, Iris banochi, Carebia, Lobsterclaw, Kawawoochi, Fire bird, Red Christmas, Lady de, Fireflash,Golden torch, Little splash, St.Vincent red, St.Lewis These varieties are distributed to the farmers from KVK farm. KVK also initiated Torch ginger multiplication unit consisting of three colours of torch ginger pink, red and white.
In order to demonstrate the use of bio-gas the unit is maintained at KVK which was constructed with the support of Koipuram block panchayath. KVK also render technical support in the construction of bio-gas plant.
Azolla (Azolla pinnata) which is presently being used as feed for poultry and livestock is also demonstrated at KVK. Farmers in demand are supported with its seed material for multiplication and production.
KVK maintains the bee hives of Cerana indica to demonstrate its potential as subsidiary income generation activity and also as effective pollinator in vegetable production.
Germplasm Preservation Units
KVK maintains germplasms of jack fruits (32 nos. of Kuzha and Varikka types) banana (Poovan,Njalipoovan,Changalikodan, Attunendran, Manjerinendran, Redbanana, Matti, Robusta, Kaali, Palayankodan, Kannan, Poojakadali). Tubers (Amorphophallus varieties like Gajendra and Sree padma, Yams - Sreeshilpa and Sree Keerthi). Ginger (IISR varieties Mahima, Varadha and Rajatha, Sikkimcultivars like Himagiri), Turmeric (IISR varieties Prabha, Prathiba, Alleppy supreme and Lakhadung and Azad-1) that are brought from various research institutions and also from various state. The Naga chilly the world's hottest chilly is an attraction in the collection.
KVK has a model rabbit unit where in the exotic varieties such as Newzeland white, Grey Giant, Soviet Chinchilla and their cross breeds were reared. KVK also demonstrated a KVK designed model rabbit cage which can rear 10 number of rabbit with upper portion provided with wooden tray to hold fodder to avoid littering inside the cage. KVK also supply the parent stock to farmers from this units.
Model Rain Water Harvesting and Demonstration Units
KVK under the ICAR Project for establishment of water conservation and micro irrigation system established model in its campus where in various water resource development works by establishment of water conservation and storage structures.